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  • Author or Editor: Hasan R. Syed x
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Hasan R. Syed, Kurt Yaeger and Faheem A. Sandhu

Several studies have described the radiographic, histological, and morphological changes to the paraspinal muscle in patients with chronic low-back pain due to degenerative diseases of the spine. Gross anatomical illustrations have shown that the psoas muscle lies lateral to the L4–5 vertebrae and subsequently thins and dissociates from the vertebral body at L5–S1 in a ventrolateral course. A “rising psoas” may influence the location of the lumbar plexus and result in transient neurological injury on lateral approach to the spine. It is postulated that axial back pain may be exacerbated by anatomical changes of paraspinal musculature as a direct result of degenerative spine conditions. To their knowledge, the authors present the first reported case of a more anteriorly positioned psoas muscle and its resolution following correction of spondylolisthesis in a 62-year-old woman. This case highlights the dynamic nature of degenerative spinal disorders and illustrates that psoas muscle position can be affected by sagittal balance. Normal anatomical positioning can be restored following correction of spinal alignment.

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Daphne Li, Daniel M. Heiferman, Hasan R. Syed, João Gustavo Santos, Robin M. Bowman, Arthur J. DiPatri Jr., Tadanori Tomita, Nitin R. Wadhwani and Tord D. Alden

Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRTs) are rare malignant central nervous system tumors, commonly occurring before 3 years of age. Median overall survival (OS) of patients with these tumors is about 1 year, despite aggressive multimodal therapy. Pediatric primary spinal ATRTs are even more rare, with fewer than 50 cases reported. The authors present a series of four patients who were treated at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in the period from 1996 to 2017.

These patients, with ages 2–11 years, presented with pain and a decline in motor functions. They were found to have lesions in the lumbar, thoracic, and/or cervical spine. One patient’s tumor was intramedullary with exophytic components, while another patient’s tumor had both intra- and extradural components. All patients underwent resection followed by chemotherapy (systemic and intrathecal). Two patients had fractionated radiation therapy and one had an autologous stem cell transplant. Three patients are known to be deceased (OS 8.5–45 months). The fourth patient was in remission 19 years after her initial diagnosis. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the largest series of pediatric primary spinal ATRTs documented at a single institution. These cases illustrate a variety of presentations of spinal ATRT and add to the body of literature on this aggressive pathology.

A systematic MEDLINE search was also conducted using the keywords “atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor,” “pediatric spinal rhabdoid tumor,” and “malignant rhabdoid tumor spine.” Reports were included for patients younger than 21 years, without evidence of intracranial or systemic disease at the time of diagnosis. Clinical characteristics and outcomes of the four institutional cases were compared to those in the literature. This review yielded an additional 48 cases of primary pediatric spinal ATRTs reported in the English-language literature. Patients (ages 2 months to 19 years) presented with symptoms of pain, regression of motor function, and spinal cord compression. The majority of tumors were intradural (14 extramedullary, 8 intramedullary, 1 both). Eleven cases in the literature described tumors limited to extradural structures, while 10 tumors involved the intra- and extradural spine. Four reports did not specify tumor location. Although rare, spinal ATRT should be considered in the differential diagnosis of pediatric patients presenting with a new spinal mass.